) Phyllaplysia lafonti Fischer, P (1870) Observations sur les Aplysies. Ann. de Sci. Nat (5). Zool & Pal, 13 : 3
Phyllaplysia lafonti    Fischer, 1872

Version française...

This species has been observed on Réunion and Mayotte Island

Order : Anaspidea
Superfamily : Aplysioidea
Family : Aplysiidae
Distribution : Mediterranean, Atlantic coast of Europe, Indo-West Pacific
Maximal size : 25 mm
Abundance :

Species characteristics :

The whole pattern is cream to dark brown in color.

The body, oval and elongate in shape, is rough and covered with small tubercles on the surface, and characterized by a pattern made of elliptical lines and a few tiny maculae irregularly disposed.

phyllaplysia lafonti
Showing species characteristics...

Photo Matthias Deuss
Mayotte, Case Robinson à Bouéni, 2 m, 27 December 2010, size : 20 mm

See more about : Sightening and mating periods

Remarks :

Identification confirmed by Nathalie Yonow
    Synonymous : (according Worms)
           - Phyllaplysia paulini Mazzarelli, 1895
           - Petalifera lafonti (Fisher, 1872)

Bibliographic data :

The parapodes, thick, reduced, not convenient for swimming, appeared posteriorly joined and closer along the dorsal line of the mollusc.
    Just after the middle of it, slightly on the right side, the typical cavity of the mantle could be observed.
    Found exclusively on the brown algae Padina on which it is very crypotic and where it feeds on diatoms growing epiphytically
    The shell of the dried animal resulted fragile, narrow, translucent, with the concentric growth furrows well evident
    Phyllaplysia lafonti looks like Petalifera petalifera but :
           - In P. lafonti, the shape is slightly flatter and larger, compared with P. petalifera
           - The mantle of P. lafonti is rougher and more uneven, and showing a typical pattern of “rusty” elliptical lines
           - The shell of P. lafonti, certainly "more slender an higher" is clearly less sub-quadrangular than P. petalifera

References :

Bill Rudman Seaslug site : Sea Slug Forum : Phyllaplysia lafonti
   Nudipixel Petalifera lafonti

Publications :

Fischer, P (1870) Observations sur les Aplysies. Ann. de Sci. Nat (5). Zool & Pal, 13 : 3
    Fischer, P (1872) Description d'une espece nouvelle du genre Phyllaplysia . Journal de Conchyliologie, 20 : 295-301
    Terreni, G. (1997) Rinvenimento di un esemplare di Phyllaplysia lafonti (P. Fischer, 1870) nelle acque litorali di Livorno (Gastropoda, Opisthobranchia, Aplysiomorpha). La Conchiglia, Roma, 29 (282) : 45-47

Other photos of Phyllaplysia lafonti :

Fabrice Schubert

Mayotte, mtsanga Sakouli, 3 m, 27 October 2010


Christophe Cadet

Réunion, Etang Salé on the rocky coast, less 1 m, 27 November 2010, size : 30 mm


Nathalie Rodrigues

Réunion, Le gouffre, Etang salé on the rocky coast, less 1 m, 20 february 2016

Orange brown coloration strongly marked in this specimen

 More photos from Indian Ocean

If you have taken a photo of this species in South West Indian Ocean, please Contact us...